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Mystery ingredient: Chia seeds

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What is it?

The seeds that grow the green "fur" on Chia pets.

Chia (Salvia hispanica) is a type of sage in the mint family and is native to Mexico and Guatemala. The seed is said to have been a staple food of the Aztecs, who ate it for strength. The name derives from "chian," which means "oily" in Nahuatl, the language spoken by the Aztecs.

Looks like:

Tiny seeds. Not very exciting. They’re about the same size as flax seeds. Now here’s the interesting part: Chia seeds can absorb nearly 10 times their weight in water. Soak a tablespoon of seeds in a cup of water for 10 minutes and you get a slimy, gelatinous, very nutritious and filling drink.

Taste like:

Chia seeds have no flavour of their own, so they’ll absorb the taste of whatever food or beverage you add them to.

Used in:

The seeds are an easily digestible form of protein and they’re chock full of omega fatty acids (for folks who don’t want to eat oily fish) and soluble fibre, plus vitamins and minerals.

So, not suprisingly, they’ve gotten a rep in recent years as a superfood that promises to boost energy and aid in weight loss. Soaked seeds can be added to porridge and pudding.

Chia seeds placed in water or fruit juice are consumed in Mexico and known as chia fresca.

Found at:

Organic Planet Worker Co-op, 877 Westminster Ave.

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